For those who know the Yuga theory of Sri Yukteswar as taught by his closest disciple the great Yogi Paramahansa Yogananda of Autobiography of a Yogi, Sri Yukteswar states in book the Holy Science, that the second yuga or Dwapara Yuga proper began in 1900.
According to this view we are no longer in the dark Kali Yuga but in the second or Dwapara Yuga marked by new scientific and technological developments, from the electrical to the nuclear, the computer and beyond. Many people have greeted his statements of now being in this second yuga with relief, feeling the dangerous and primitive dark age of Kali Yuga behind us, but it is not so simple.
While there are many positive developments in Dwapara Yuga, not only science but education, economics and communication, there are many dangers as well, and we are experiencing these today in our current time of global crisis.
Dangers of Dwapara Yuga
Paramahansa Yogananda states in his book A World in Transition:
“The trouble with this second age is that there is not enough security, because science plays the part of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Man uses science not only to create and do good, but to destroy as well. Therefore, scientific development is not yet safe. The present War shows how the technology of science is used to destroy mankind. Man’s destructive potential has grown much greater than his constructive power. There will be no safety in this electrical age. Methods of war on a greater and greater scale will come.”
This statement of Yogananda from the World War II period makes us consider the dangers of our current global situation, its invasive new technology, environmental disruptions, new wars and even the threat of a possible World War III. World War I and World War II were Dwapara Wars, with many new weapon’s technologies developed.
Our New Time of Troubles
I wrote in 2009 that 2020 would mark what I called “A New Time of Trouble for Humanity.” This was presented in a conference on Mundane Astrology in India along with Sadguru Sivananda Murty. My assessment was that 2020-2028 would be most dangerous, but extending some years beyond, with ramifications for the entire 21st century. This I saw as a subperiod or crisis event within Dwapara Yuga.
You can learn more in my article 2020 and a New Time of Troubles for the Future.
This clash between the constructive and destructive uses of science will continue and can provoke further civilizational challenges on many levels of life and mind, including information technology and artificial intelligence (AI). The question is whether we can develop the wisdom and compassion to use our new technology with a higher awareness, such as Yoga teaches us to develop, which is possible but must be developed much more.
Humanity today has a greater knowledge of the workings of brain chemistry and of the ability to influence it through drugs, the media and mind control. One is reminded of the Brave New World of Aldous Huxley if these forces are not used in a dharmic way.
If we look at the war in Ukraine we see a testing of various new high tech weapons, new hypersonic missiles as well as continued dangers from nuclear weapons, with many other new secret weapons being developed that we do not yet know about, and which many countries are trying to stockpile. Whether this causes a new world war is unclear but certainly a new world conflict is there.
Caution Required, Outwardly and Inwardly
Please note that I am not proclaiming the end of the world, casting doom upon any group or person. I am calling attention to these continued dangers of this electrical age, and the need to develop a higher yogic consciousness to master our new science and technology and remove its destructive applications, which will not be easy, but it is possible if it is made into the priority for anyone who has a deeper awareness and for all higher education.
My point here is to emphasize that we have a karmic responsibility as a species for the right use of our new technology, which we so quickly have weaponized. This can also arouse nature to protect itself from we human beings, if we allow our technology to harm the Earth at a fundamental level.
While our new technology brings new opportunities, travel and better communication, if we weaponize it, it can do great damage.
Let us look at 2024 as offering us to manifest a new potential for a higher unity consciousness.
Note that Paramahansa Yogananda, among the great gurus of Yoga, also taught us practices of Kriya Yoga and a path of Self-realization that can overcome all outer dangers and distortions. May we follow such yogic teachings with determination, aspiration and the vision of a new humanity beyond our current divisions!